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Exclusive Interview: Honk Magazine Chats with Maya J

Maya Jenkins, simply known as Maya J, has taken the entertainment industry by storm. Whether she’s on the stage, on the screen, or in the studio, Maya J is a force to be reckoned with, and fans have eagerly been waiting for her next single to drop. Well, that wait is officially over. Today Maya releases “Home.
We had the opportunity to chat with American singer-songwriter Maya J
Interview Replies: 

1. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

What would our lives be without music and movies (entertainment)? That question has floated around in my head with me for years. I feel that the arts community and the entertainment business does so much for people that they don’t even realize. Entertainment creates the fantasies that humans only dream of living in. Making music, acting, and storytelling is an important career to have, just like we need doctors and lawyers. I’ve always felt that if I can give the world melodies and lyrics and portray amazing stories via film and television, my career would be very fulfilling.  

2. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Of course, my new single “Home”, which will be available June 4th, and my music video for my latest single “Trouble” also coming out this June are the latest things happening! Those 2 things are going to make June a super sparkly month. I completed both projects in the midst of making team changes, planning more new songs, and going through external stressors caused by all the dark things happening in our world right now. I am beyond ready for “Home” to be officially released into the universe, and you can catch my “Trouble” music video on my YouTube channel and on VEVO very soon. 

3.  Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

Well, I always say everyone I’ve met in my business dealings thus far has been somewhat “interesting”; the difference is whether they are negatively interesting or positively interesting, haha. This is an industry full of temperamental people who feel emotions deeply…so every time I jump into something new, I feel like there is another wild story to tell. My mom & sister have heard them all. I’ll totally continue to write meaningful songs about this crazy ride and all the stories I have will come through in more melodies, whether I am singing them or other artists are singing them. 

4. Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

This question reflects the true fact that there is a high prospect of burnout and failure in this entertainment field. Even SUCCESS can bring burnout with it, along with frustration and other demons; so honestly, I salute those who have maintained longevity, reached a high level of achievement, and STILL maintain their sanity. There is a chance that you invest your time, money, sweat, and tears in this; you can literally risk it all, and lose everything. If you actually THINK about that prospect, you probably wouldn’t begin to do it. You really have to commit to being in this for the long haul. Sometimes people set time limits for themselves or have time limits set on them by people who are helping to finance them with the very basics. Your mindset has to understand that this is a commitment and know that there are going to be ups and downs. When you understand that, you can be more in control of the intensity of your emotions during the down swings. 

5. Can you share with our readers any self-care routines, practices, or treatments that you do to help your body, mind, or heart to thrive? 

I’d say anything that you enjoy or that makes you feel good are great self-care routine. You should make sure your private spaces (like your home or office) all have good feng shui so that your body is the most energized that it can be. Vibes are very important; I really believe in that. Enjoying each of your moments, smelling the roses, and eating a new froyo flavor once a month really work wonders for the soul. 🙂

6. You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

feel as though people have to dig deep within themselves to figure out if they want this for the right reasons. I’m not saying I have all of the answers, but I respect art and artists so much. This is a pretty tough journey for most, and it takes a lot of hard work to get any type of success. I’d say think about whether you love the craft and art form first, & that would be my main advice before anyone embarking on this career path. 

7. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. 

Don’t trust the B in apartment 23. LOL. Kidding, but not. 

Here are 5 things I really wish someone told me when I first started. Actually, they did, but I just didn’t listen or truly understand it yet haha. 

 

  • 1) Stay focused but release tension often, because the road to success is long.
  • 2) It would take longer to drive to Burbank from the west side than it takes to get to Miami on a plane because Los Angeles traffic is unfathomable.
  • 3) That I shouldn’t take people personally, because how people treat you is a reflection of their own inner feelings & struggles.
  • 4) This kind of goes with number 3, but it can stand on its own: This business is filled with ego and you should never internalize things that are said to you. Always be you!!
  • 5) Make sure you get everything in writing — EVERY. LITTLE. THING.

 

See also  Exclusive Interview with Pop/Rap Artist Denae

Overall, listen when I tell you. I’ve said this before — It doesn’t snow in LA, but there are a lot of flakes. None of us are perfect, but just try to be the change you want to see. 

8. Can you please give us your favorite  “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

The following life lesson quote from the fabulously eloquent Maya Angelou:  “When someone tells you who they are, believe them the first time”. It is definitely relevant in my life because I tend to let my guard down around people who I know have done bad things. I’m not saying don’t practice forgiveness, but you really have to trust your instincts. If a person lies in business, they are usually a snake and they’ve already proven that … so your thoughts are valid, and walking away is valid. Don’t let a wolf in sheep’s clothing smile in your face and cause you to go back into a situation that you know isn’t good for you. You don’t have to be angry or irate to put your foot down. 

9. None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Oh absolutely, you get nowhere by yourself. I’m grateful for everything good that has happened! I wouldn’t have been able to get most of this done without my mom’s emotional and moral support, and her driving me around to auditions and meetings from day 1. She believed in me more than I believed in myself at times, and for that I am forever grateful. There are also a couple of people that I call my angels, that have answered my calls. That’s all I have to say about that. 🙂 #Thankful

10. You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂 

I would start a unification movement. You know, in our society today, we are so divided and have so many issues ranging from racial divides, to wealth vs poor, all the way to self identity. I don’t know exactly how I would execute the idea of creating unity, but I would want to start by finding out how we can have more of a shared culture as Americans, and a way to focus on our similarities more than our differences. People always tell me I’m painfully idealistic by actually thinking it’s possible to have a world full of compassion, kindness, love and unity, all while being different spiritually, mentally and physically. I still believe it would work if we all tried. Start by spreading some extra sparkly smiles around, and see where it goes after that. 

11. We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

That’s wonderful. Firstly, I’d really like to sit down with some prolific songwriters. Specifically, I have to name Lionel Richie and Dianne Warren as people that stick out to me. My parents first got me on the Lionel train that I’m still on… and ever since I was younger, I have learned about and looked at great songwriters like Dianne Warren. My goodness what a genius! So many of my favorite songs she wrote – which are also classic songs. Lionel Richie is a true musician who believes in songs striking heartstrings. He expressed once that he understands the difference between songs and records, and it seems like he has an ever-evolving conversation in an effort to combine the two. I think part of that comes from him playing his music with real instruments and the fact that started off with a band. Our modern-day record qualities can still be there WITH a touching beautiful melody that we can sing when the production is turned off.  

So yeah, I’d love to collaborate with them both. I have songs that I haven’t finished yet, and I’d love to bounce ideas off. I’d be interested to hear their perspectives on song structure and development. I just want to soak up their essence and talent.

Even more recently popular gems like Julia Michaels who are from my own generation, I would completely love to talk to her too! So many times I hear a cool melody on a newly discovered song I really like, Julia happens to be on the credits list. I don’t think that’s a coincidence, and I personally think we could — and should — write a beautiful song together. 

The actor in me really wants to have a talk with Ava DuVernay. The reason? She is such a superb storyteller and really seems to connect with actors on a level that is so incredibly special. She brings powerful stories to the forefront and is able to capsulize the complexity of interpersonal relationships within her projects; I think we would see eye-to-eye on a lot of things and have so much to discuss. I honestly can’t wait to work with her one day!

 

All in all, I love people who discuss things in-depth and seriously understand the things that artists, actors, and songwriters go through daily. I am always looking to create projects, connect with writers, producers, and more creatives. I don’t ever want anyone to feel nervous or hesitant about approaching me, because I welcome art, passion, and people in general with open arms. 

12. How can our readers follow you online?

Please go follow my instagram! @mayajenkinsforever, and my twitter @everythingmayaj. Subscribe to my Youtube channel: Maya J Music . Head to my profile (Maya J) on Spotify and make sure you guys all follow me there too so you don’t miss any new music or playlist updates. Lastly, you can check my official website (www.thisismayajenkins.com) and sign up for exclusives, tv/film, new music, and merch updates. I really hope I see you there! Stay Sparkly forever and ever. XO

Natalie is a journalism major with a focus on Entertainment and Music who aspires to become a Content Creator For Honk Magazine. Eventually, she wants to be the Publisher or Editor-in-Chief of a major Publishing House. She loves helping people find their voice and passion for writing and journalism, and she can always be found with coffee in hand, editing another article.

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